Here is a list of resources for voting and election information if you live in Washington State. While these lists do not exhaustively include every available political resource, we have made every effort to provide a balanced list of partisan and non-partisan organizations. Consider it your free guide to shaping your political views, whatever they may be.
How to register and vote in Washington State
Voter Registration processes vary by state. The voting process is administered by the Washington Secretary of State.
In order to participate in elections in the United States, you must be registered to vote. You usually only need to register once. You can register to vote at any time:
However, if it is close to an election, you may not be able to vote if you do not register by the deadline for the upcoming election. Washington State voter registration deadlines were as follows:
- register to vote online if your registration is submitted no later than 29 days before the election
- register to vote by mail if postmarked no later than 29 days before the election
- register to vote in person, if you apply no later than 8 days before the election
- For more information about Washington State voter registration deadlines, visit: sos.wa.gov/elections/Dates-and-Deadlines.aspx.
- For voter registration information in another state, visit: https://www.usa.gov/voter-registration-deadlines.
Washington State votes by mail. Voting by mail is convenient and gives you plenty of time to learn about the ballot measures and candidates before casting your vote. Ballots are mailed to registered voters at least 18 days before each election.
- For information about ballot measures and candidates in your county, visit: https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/auditors/
- For more information about voting in Washington State, visit: http://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/voters.
Information about election candidates and issues
Washington State has many ways to help voters become informed about ballot measures and candidates:
- For all ballot measures and candidates in Washington State, visit the Online Voters’ Guide.
- For local races in Washington state, visit the website for your county elections department.
- For other information about Washington State government, including laws, bills, the legislative calendar, finding your voting district and legislators, and more, visit: http://leg.wa.gov
Other sources of information about candidates and issues include local newspapers, television, libraries, political parties, and campaigns. Here’s a selected list of national and local sites to get you started.
You may be surprised (as I was) to know that there are over two dozen ballot qualified political parties in the United States. Except for the Democratic and Republican parties, none are qualified in all 50 states and Washington D.C. Here, we list the two major parties and those that appear to be active Washington State based on the activity on their website when we checked for 2016 election information.
- Constitution Party of Washington
- Democratic Party in Washington State (“blue”, donkey symbol, acronym DNC for Democratic National Convention)
- Green Party of Washington
- Libertarian Party of Washington
- Progressive Party of Washington
- Republican Party in Washington State (aka GOP) (“red”, elephant symbol, nickname GOP for “Grand Old Party”)
Political Information Sources
Here is a selected list of independent, partisan and non-partisan sources that can provide information about politics, policies, and elections in the United States. This is by no means a complete list, but offered as a starting point for your own political exploration.
- Pew Research Center on U.S. Politics & Policy is a “fact tank” that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. They conduct public opinion polling, demographic research, content analysis and other data-driven social science research. They do not take policy positions.
- Vote Smart claims to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates and elected officials, providing information such as biographies, voting records, speeches, funding and more using partisan and bi-partisan sources.
- List of liberal news outlets considered to represent a “liberal bias” based either on self-identification or their perceived content.
- List of conservative news outlets considered to represent a “conservative bias” based either on self-identification or their perceived content.
- The Center for Communication and Civic Engagement at the University of Washington is dedicated to understanding new technologies and traditional communication media in order to promote citizen engagement and effective participation in local, national, and global affairs. The Center has a broad range of research capabilities and learning programs that involve faculty and students at the University of Washington, as well as local community partners and scholars around the world.
- Rock the Vote is the largest non-partisan, non-profit organization in the United States driving young people to the polls. Fusing pop culture, politics, and technology, Rock the Vote works to mobilize the millennial voting bloc and the youth vote, protect voting rights, and advocate for an electoral process and voting system that works for the 21st century electorate. Rock the Vote is dedicated only to building political power for young people. Rock the Vote does not support or endorse candidates, nor advocate for one political party over another. They don’t care who you vote for – they just want you to vote and participate in the process. To make sure that’s possible, they defend voting rights and work to increase opportunities for everyone to vote.
- The Washington Bus is a youth-driven organization that makes politics engaging, effective and fun. The Bus develops leaders, mobilizes voters, and supports policies that advance a more just and fair Washington State. Their aim is to increase political access and participation for young people across Washington State and to develop our next generation of young leaders.
A selected list of newspapers that regularly report on community, local and regional issues.
Seattle area newspapers
- Capitol Hill Times
- Daily Journal of Commerce
- El Mundo
- International Examiner (Asian Pacific Islander)
- Korea Daily Seattle
- La Raza Northwest
- Madison Park Times
- Northwest Asian Weekly
- Northwest Vietnamese News
- NW Facts
- Puget Sound Business Journal
- Queen Anne & Magnolia News
- Real Change
- Seattle Chinese Post
- Seattle Chinese Times
- Seattle Gay News
- Seattle Medium
- Seattle Post Intelligencer
- Seattle Times
- Seattle Weekly
- South Seattle Emerald
- The Stranger
- West Seattle Herald
Other Puget Sound newspapers
- Auburn Reporter
- Bainbridge Island Review
- Bellevue Business Journal
- Everett-Snohomish Herald
- Go Skagit (Skagit Valley Herald)
- Kitsap Sun
- Northwest Military
- Sound Publishing (40+ titles serving Washington communities)
- Stanwood Camano News
- Whidbey Crosswind
- Whidbey News-Times
Other Washington newspapers
- Sound Publishing. 40+ titles serving Washington communities, including:
- Spokane Exchange
- The Pacific Northwest Inlander
- Spokane Spokesman Review
- Tri Cities Area Journal of Business
College Newspapers in Washington State
- Central WA Univ The Observer
- Eastern WA Univ The Easterner Online
- Pacific Lutheran Univ The Mooring Mast
- Seattle University The Spectator Online
- University of Washington Seattle The Daily
- Univ of Washington Tacoma Tacoma Ledger
- Washington State University WSU News (online) and Archives of the Daily Evergreen
- Western Washington University The Western Front
- Whitman College The Wire (formerly the Pioneer)
- Whitworth College The Whitworthian